Posts Tagged With: Atiu

Getting Out Of My Comfort Zone

The Cave

The big attraction to Atiu is the Anatakitaki Kopeka Bird Caves and despite my reservations on doing something that was classified as a challenging walk on the makatea with inadequate shoes, I found myself waiting to be picked up for the tour.  The fact that I was told that I’d look like mince if I fell wasn’t helping matters at all but there were going to be 4 other people on this tour with me so they all couldn’t be experienced woodsmen right? WRONG.  As my luck would have it, I got put in the group with a quick-footed guide and 4 Aussies with sturdy feet who travelled around bush walking.

Before we even started, the idea of this walk was making me feel miserable as I was well out of my comfort zone.  Images of the river crossing at Waitakere Ranges kept flashing in my head as that’s my new benchmark for horrific trekking moments.  After all was said and done though, this wasn’t as bad as that despite having the same level of difficult to stay upright, the bird cave walk wasn’t as physically exerting.

The other big difference this time around was that I didn’t bail once because I had 5 experienced woodsmen that babied me the entire way.  They applied bug spray (Aussie strength) when the mozzies started picking on me; they held my hand when the going got tough (mind you not for comfort but to pull me back on my feet encase I did fall); they guided me along the harder spots with advice on where to step and what would make navigating the makatea easier; and most importantly, they cheered me on when my confidence was dipping low to make sure that I would continue the walk and see every inch of the cave along with them.  At the end of the day, I was glad that I did this walk but have absolutely zero desire to ever do anything like it again.

Categories: nz: auckland | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Home Away From Home

What You're Walking On...

I arrived on Atiu on a plane that was small enough that it had the ability to boast that every seat is a window seat.  Looking at the size of the plane, I was thinking that I was going to the smallest of the three islands on my tour de Cook Islands but I was wrong.  Atiu is actually quite a large island to navigate despite the fact it has no ATM or stable power source.  The lack of an ATM gave me a minor heart attack as I arrived on the island with only $30 to my name and a loaded for travel VISA.  Thankfully, the artist extraordinaire running the B&B where I was staying was willing to loan me cash I needed to survive/tour and I could square up with her husband upon my arrival back in Raro.  PHEW…and so much for VISA being expected everywhere!

After settling the first issue, I was off to see the island with the other couple staying at the B&B with me.  During this tour, I was exposed to the jungles, harbour, fishing spots, grottoes, white sandy beaches, and history that make up Atiu.  All of it was interesting but what stuck out in my mind was the makatea (aka raised coral).   What haunts me about the makatea is it’s uneven and sharp surface that crumbles under every step that makes walking on it impossible and yet I couldn’t help but to keep trying as the fossils that can be seen in the makatea are outstanding.

I could tell right from the start that Atiu was going to be a very different island experience from the other two that I was on.  I was thankful that I was staying at a place at felt like a home away from home that was run by 2 ladies that were proud of the island they called home.  On their advice (and loaned money) I started my exploration of what Atiu was all about.

Categories: COOK ISLANDS, cook islands: atiu | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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